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Days
?
Motors Allowed?
Yes
Difficulty
Easy / Class A
Distance
5.20 mi (8.37 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Located entirely within the Seattle city limits, the fresh-water Lake Union covers 580 acres and has an average depth of 34 feet. The convenient location makes it a popular destination for kayaking, recreational boating, and seaplanes. Seaplanes are surprisingly common because both Kenmore Air and Seattle Seaplanes have seaplane bases on Lake Union.

There are many places of interest to see via kayak around Lake Union, from Gas Works Park and multiple bridges to hundreds of floating homes—including the one featured in the film Sleepless in Seattle. Paddle east of Lake Union to reach Portage Bay, the Montlake Cut, and Union Bay beyond. Paddle west from Lake Union to reach Puget Sound via the canal system.

Lake Union is named for Seattle pioneer Thomas Mercer's famous prediction in the mid-1800s that Lake Washington would one day connect to Puget Sound through a canal system, which is the case today.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Large paddling area. Diverse area and sights. Good stops for lunch or dinner.

Cons

Boat traffic.

Address

Seattle, WA 98103
United States

Features

Fishing
Picnic tables
Bird watching
Wildlife

Site characteristics: Water

Lake

Portage required

No

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Adventures

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